1.DON’T pay for anything.
90% of the time, first dates are horrible social experiments where two people of various gender combinations are dropped into a restaurant or bar and forced to examine each other, picking apart every detail of the other’s face and deciding whether or not the way they pronounce “bagel” is tolerable enough for an invitation to some under the shirt action. Assuming the worst, make the most of your horrible social experiment. Get dat free dinner, girl! Or guy! Charm your way to being treated to New York’s hottest cocktail: Complimentary Vodka with a splash of Not Paying for Dis Shiz. It’s guaranteed to make your night worthwhile, even if Mr. Bumble-date ends up talking about his five ex-wives all night.
2. DON’T be nervous about what you wear.
I used to get so nervous about what to wear and how to look on a first date. I always assumed the guy from Tinder would end up having Stephen Hawking’s mind in Jamie Dornan’s body, so I’d want to look absolutely perfect to live up to expectations. This is rarely ever the case with men from Tinder. (Don’t ask me why I make these assumptions about men, I’m figuring it out with my therapist). The truth of the matter is: you’re great, you’re probably creative and smart and cool. As long as you’re not wearing a tinfoil hat and a pillow case, you probably look great. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. And never forget that he’s probably wearing a sad t-shirt and a hoodie with his improv team’s name on it, so…
3. DON’T go anywhere without telling five friends your date location!!!!
Okay, but, like, don’t!!! Maybe this is my conspiracy-believing grandma talking, but there are some creeps on the internet! And we’re all meeting everybody on the internet because the Huffington Post says millennials don’t know how to make real-life human connections anymore! This might just be me, but I tell at least one expansive group chat which bar or venue I’m going to before I meet any so-called Tom, Dick, or Harry. On my first internet date, I actually brought someone with me to scope the situation and make sure I wasn’t going to get murdered. Okay! I’m crazy! Whatever! I’ll bring it up with my therapist.
4. DON’T tell too many lies.
Whenever I meet someone IRL, I don’t know why, but I like to lie about everything. I like to say my name is Rose, I live in the West Village, and I work in finance. I guess I think it’s funny? (Yeah, I’m the worst). This has turned out to be problematic when whoever I’m talking to turns out to not be horrible and wants to see me again. Whoops. So it’s probably a good idea to keep everything open and honest from the beginning in order to build a beautiful and strong relationship. Unless you’ve murdered someone. Keep that to yourself.
5. DON’T be shy.
If there’s a spark and a mutual connection, don’t hold back. So many “games” are being played on a first date, trying to play it cool, not coming off too eager, pretending you only eat lettuce and don’t know what Flaming Hot Cheetos are, etc. etc. But if you try to play it too cool, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to really get to know someone. Let your date know right away if you’re interested in seeing them again, that you had a good time, or that you want to put your mouth on their mouth. Go. For. It. Or just go back to your flaming hot Cheetos and be sad about not going for it.
By Charlotte Barnett
Charlotte Barnett is a New York based writer and soon-to-be-in-debt student at Columbia University. In her free time she enjoys eating rice and shopping for Gucci T-shirts. After spending the last 20 years of her life as a ballet dancer, you could say she’s a pro at balancing anything life throws at her. For information regarding any of the five restraining orders filed against her, please contact Toby Maguire’s lawyers